Does H. Pylori infection play a role in idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and in other autoimmune diseases?

Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jun;100(6):1271-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.50224.x.


Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), an autoimmune disease caused by sensitization of platelets by autoantibodies leading to platelet destruction, has been associated with some infectious agents, including Helicobacter pylori. The study by Suzuki et al., published in this issue, provides further evidence of the role of H. pylori infection in the pathogenesis of ITP, as confirmed by the increase in the platelet count in patients with ITP, following H. pylori eradication. Interestingly, H. pylori infection has also been shown to play a role in other diseases in which autoimmune mechanisms may be predominant, such as acne rosacea, idiopathic chronic urticaria, and atherosclerosis. While H. pylori eradication is usually recommended in patients with gastric diseases, there are no specific indications for extraalimentary diseases. In the light of the recent findings, a revision of the current guidelines for the management of H. pylori infection may be needed.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / immunology
  • Antigens, Bacterial / blood
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / blood
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmunity / drug effects
  • Autoimmunity / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / blood
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects
  • Blood Platelets / immunology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / therapeutic use
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications*
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter pylori / immunology
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Platelet Count
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / blood
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / complications
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / immunology*
  • Virulence / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • cagA protein, Helicobacter pylori